How not to spam

Continued from Forecast: e-mail reigns, a series on e-mail marketing

So you’ve decided to take all those names and e-mail addresses that you have been collecting for years and start an e-mail marketing campaign. Maybe you’ll produce an eNewsletter or send out monthly sales circulars, but how do you do it?

You may be tempted to just load up all those addresses and send them straight from your e-mail account at AT&T, Comcast, AOL, or other ISP. Resist the temptation.

Unless you have fewer than 25 addresses on your list, you may get labeled a spammer and have your e-mails blocked—and not just the ones with your newsletter, all of them. That’s not so hot for you and clearly bad for your business.

So what can you do? Look into an e-mail distribution company (VerticalResponse, Constant Contact, iContact), one that specializes in sending e-mail to anywhere from 50 to 500,000 recipients. They have the tools and credentials to insure that e-mails get delivered (as long as addresses are correct) and you’re business isn’t labeled a spammer. Plus, they provide comprehensive data on open and click-through rates, so you can hone future e-mail messages.

What else should you do to make sure your message reaches your target audience? Well, you’ll just have to wait for my next post on subject lines …

–Rick Gramatges